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National Fetal, Infant, and Child Death Review Program

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injury is the leading cause of death among children. Examples include gun violence, car crashes, suicides, murders, poisoning, drowning, and suffocation. Our program aims to change that by keeping kids safe

How does this program work?

We fund the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (National Center). They provide expertise and data support to more than 1,400 Child Death Review (CDR) and 140 Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) programs throughout the United States, territories, and some tribes. 

Fatality review teams are in states and communities. They review deaths from all causes. 

What does the National Center do?

How does better data help local- and state-level prevention efforts?

Teams share data and findings with the National Center and communities. Those groups work with other partners and those who create policy to target efforts that improve outcomes. 

Having a national case reporting system to gather data eases the burden on teams. It makes it easier to enter, access, download, and report data. These data provide a local, state, and national picture of why children die. Then, we can work to prevent deaths. 

When did we begin these activities?

We’ve funded the National Center since 2002. Congressional funding now emphasizes Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and unexpected childhood deaths. Through this cooperative agreement, we work closely with the National Center in the design and resulting activities. 

Some states use their Title V MCH Block Grant programs for this work. 

How does a death review program work?

A death review program is a structured way to look closely at what happened when children died. Experts in health care, social work, law enforcement, schools, and public health sectors perform the reviews. 

What are its goals?

  • Identify the circumstances around the death
  • Look for patterns or risk factors (for example, neglect, abuse, accidents, unsafe sleeping conditions)
  • Develop prevention strategies
  • Change policies and programs

Contact us

Email Diane Pilkey, Registered Nurse, M.P.H.

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